guyana chronicle letter November 9, 2017


Dear Editor
POLITICS can never be said to be simple. No matter where you go in the world, politics at the level of governments or even in the family has so many nuances and complexities, that to properly analyse the reasons why things happen can never be done in a simplistic manner. The political environment in Guyana at the level of governance is no different.

In many western societies (at least in times past), politics and the agendas of persons who seek political office have been publicly limited by concepts such as ideology or philosophy. Ideologies and philosophies that were openly debated, recognised and utilised to further their careers. This statement does not negate the fact that politicians have always had private beliefs, perspectives and agendas, but the public discourse has always maintained a level of decorum as was and is expected of someone striving to be or someone who wished to hold leadership positions at the governmental level. For better or worse, this has changed. One look at the leader of the United States of America shows that, but it is almost as though that leader is idolised by the leader of the opposition here in Guyana. It is my honest view that Guyana’s politics for some time has had no limitations.

The public agendas of persons have had no limitations of ideology and philosophy that can be publicly debated, but rather agendas and beliefs that are vile and are discussed and agreed upon in private or understood to be true, based on a common recognition that agendas of persons may be synonymous. These agendas and beliefs are then white-washed and unveiled for public consumption, because in most instances it would be difficult for most to publicly state their true agendas and others to agree publicly with the agendas of persons seeking high political office. However, what is also done is a number of individuals who can be seen as dispensable are given the go-ahead to state the views and ideas of those who are deemed indispensable publicly, so as to test the political and social atmosphere.

We are then left with a public discourse that is so trivial and without substance that seeks to push the entire society into an untenable state. This we must fight against as a society. While we cannot tell anyone what they should or should not say, we as a society must ensure that we do not allow ourselves to follow vacuous persons down a rabbit hole of no return.

We must consciously determine how we frame our arguments, how we in the media report stories, and how we analyse situations publicly. We cannot continue to allow vitriol of any kind to be the standard, we cannot continue to allow negativity to be glamourised and glorified. It can no longer be about what we have become accustomed to over the years, If our country is to keep moving in the direction of development, cohesion and patriotism, we must first identify the role we are playing in that process and whether we are helping or hurting the tainted and torn fabric that is currently holding us together as a society and a country.
Tabitha Sarabo-Halley